Spotted hyaena clans go on hunting trips, averaging 80 km., to the nearest concentrations of prey, about 40-50 times a year.
In the Serengeti, many prey species of ungulates are migratory and are not found in spotted hyaena clan territory during some parts of the year. When this occurs, clans go on frequent, long-distance hunting and foraging trips to the nearest concentrations of prey. This system has been labeled a commuting system and allows the hyaena to live at much higher population densities than their clan territories would support.
The average round trip for these expeditions is about 80 kilometers and a lactating female can make 40 to 50 trips per year for a total of 2,800 to 3,600 kilometers per year.
The commuting system of the spotted hyaena depends on the ability of hyaena clans to differentiate between commuting groups and groups that are actively searching for food. Aggression is rare between resident clan members and commuting individual hyaenas. Non-resident hyaenas typically defer to resident clan members at a kill, however this situation may also result in aggression.